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Pasadena - New Years Weekend

Will be spending New Years near pasadena - going to Rose Bowl Parade. We have tickets for bleachers, for the band comncert and to see the floats being made.
We are 4 people- 22- 80yrs. Low key
Any suggestions for New Years Eve? any moderate to inexpensive restaurants?
PS - how warm/cold will it be?

Posted by
796 posts

I lived there for years, and the questions you ask require more detail.

  1. Where are you staying? If you are staying in Pasadena then it depends on exactly where, if not you probably don't want to deal with the traffic you're going to hit more than needed.

  2. What constitutes "moderate" price to you?

  3. Are you driving? Are you ready to try and go down streets you don't know, in heavy traffic, surrounded by other tourists who don't have a clue?

The floats are usually built down by Victory Park off Sierra Madre. It can be almost impossible to find parking down there. Remember that people can legally camp out on the streets for a week before the parade. Colorado Blvd will be either a parking lot or closed to traffic. Foothill Blvd/Walnut (which parallels) won't be much better. Just walking down the streets can be like trying to work around a mob.

Old town has over 100 restaurants. But there will be 200,000 people trying to get into them. (not an exaggeration.) Places I'll recommend:

Hill Street Café, La Canada - A locals standby for breakfast and comfort food.
Georgee's, La Canada/Flintridge - Italian, pizza, and sandwiches. Known for large portions.
Beppo de Bucca, Pasadena (off Fair Oaks & Colorado) - Italian Chain
The Hat, Pasadena - Pastrami Sandwiches
El Portal, Pasadena - Guatamalan / Honduran
Camerons, Pasadena - Seafood.

The above are all local joints that have been around 30+ years. None of them do "Californian Cuisine" and the prices are realistic. Georgees and The Hat are legendary student hangouts.

If you want German, go to The Red Lion in Silverlake. Stonefire Grill in East Pas. is good too.

Traffic for the Rose Bowl is bad. It can take hours for the crowd to leave out of there so plan to sit in your car a long time.

(Just so you know, most locals leave town if they can. I usually went to Mammoth or Malibu. Or both, because when everything is perfect you can ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon.)

It can get cold. Plan accordingly. That does not mean it will. I've seen the Santa Annas come in and it will be 70 with 40 mph winds. I've seen it in the teens. Plan to walk. And honestly, you're not going to believe the traffic.